This strawberry-infused gin is a fun way for experienced gin drinkers to customize their gin, as well as an excellent gateway gin for newcomers! I know a lot of people think they hate gin. I used to think that I hated gin too.
The first gin I ever tried was Bombay Sapphire. While it’s not necessarily bad, it’s not a very good introduction for a 21 year old making the leap from vodka to gin. It’s so juniper-laden that I’ve often heard the flavor compared to a Christmas tree.
The juniper overload scared me away from gin for a few years, but I eventually started easing my way back into gin with lighter expressions with citrus and floral notes, like Hendricks and St. George Botanivore. Both still contain juniper, it’s just not the dominant flavor.
I’ve had the opportunity to try an incredibly wide variety of gins, mostly due to the fact that so many whiskey distilleries are now making gin. It doesn’t require barrel-aging, so it’s an excellent way for newer whiskey producers to have a product available to sell to keep their distilleries in business while their whiskey ages.
It’s also super easy to produce since it’s essentially botanically flavored vodka. The biggest distinction between gin and an flavored vodka is that gin must contain juniper, although it typically contains many other botanicals to complement the juniper. At many distilleries, the botanicals are placed in a gin basket in the arm of the still that the alcohol vapor passes through, resulting in softer more subtle flavors. Other distillers use a maceration on method for infusion and let the botanicals steep in the alcohol, while some add the botanicals directly to the mash during the distillation process.
Whatever the method of infusion, the wide variety of botanicals available also give gin producers the ability to create something unique. While juniper, coriander, angelica root, orris root, cardamom, licorice, cassia bark and citrus are among the most common, the possibilities are endless. Pretty much every herb and spice you can imagine has been used for gin. Some examples of more unique botanicals include green tea, passionfruit, lotus leaves, coconut and seaweed.
If you want to learn more about gin, checkout this super thorough article from tipsybartender.com.
Selecting Your Gin
For the infusion, select a gin with a nice amount of juniper, so it doesn’t get overpowered by the strawberry. London Dry gins tend to use similar botanicals in varying quantities, but on the whole they are juniper-forward. The other botanicals serve to highlight different flavor compounds within the juniper. London Dry style often has a higher alcohol content as well, which tends to work better for infusions.
Personally, I went with a local gin that is not London Dry style. This was partly based due to convenience, since I already had a bottle, and partly based on the price point. While it’s a decent product on it’s own, the juniper was a little light to stand up to the strong strawberry flavor, and I ended up adding a few juniper berries to compensate.
It’s a pretty safe bet that most London dry gins will have a strong enough flavor profile, but if there’s a specific gin that you like, feel free to experiment. For example, I might use CapRock gin next time because I’ve tried it in a bramble (similar to our strawberry lemonade recipe below), so I know it tastes great with strawberries.
You probably also don’t want to buy the most expensive liquor on the shelf for any sort of infusion. A good general rule is to buy something at a mid-range price point and something higher than 40% ABV.
Making Strawberry-Infused Gin
Once you’ve selected your gin, the infusion process is simple. Just wash your strawberries, remove the leaves and core, then quarter or slice them and place them in a quart sized jar. Fill the jar with gin, completely covering the strawberries.
Strawberry-Infused Gin Cocktails
If you’re not sure how to use the strawberry-infused gin, here are some cocktail ideas to get you started. We’ll post new cocktails soon, so subscribe if you don’t want to miss out!
If you do not already have bar tools, I would suggest getting a basic bartender kit/shaker set. If you want something more advance, this Barfly kit offers a variety of options. For more information, checkout the “bar tools” section of our Paloma article.
Strawberry Rhubarb 75
3oz brut sparkling wine
1oz strawberry-infused gin
.75oz rhubarb liqueur, such as Giffard
Shake gin, rhubarb liqueur and lemon with ice, then strain into a champagne flute, or coupe glass. Top with sparkling wine and garnish with a lemon twist.
1.5oz strawberry-infused gin
1oz sweet vermouth
1oz Campari (or vegan equivalent)
Shake ingredients with ice, then strain over fresh ice and garnish with an orange peel.
2oz strawberry-infused gin
1oz simple syrup (1:1 ratio of sugar and water)
3 dashes complimentary flavor of bitters (such as citrus bitters, hibiscus, rhubarb, jalapeño, etc.)
Shake ingredients with ice, then strain over fresh ice.
If you’ve made strawberry-infused gin, any of the cocktails above, or any other strawberry gin cocktails, please share in the comments. If you’d like to explore more cocktails, checkout our Paloma or Passionfruit La Croix Hurricane. Enjoy!
- 1 lb Strawberries, Rinsed
- 16-18 oz Gin
- 3-5 Juniper Berries (Optional)
- Remove the leaves and stem of each strawberry, then use a paring knife to cut out the core.
- Slice the strawberries. The slices can be thick and still work. 3-5 slices per strawberry will do.
- Place the strawberries in a quart-size Ball jar or other receptacle and cover with gin. (If you are considering adding juniper berries, see note.) Store in refrigerator for 5-7 days.
- After 5-7 days, drain gin into a second container and discard strawberries. You can get a little extra gin out of the strawberries by mashing them slightly with a wooden spoon, waiting a few minutes, then draining again.